• Taeko Gupta

Makerspace Series: Cosplay and Costume Club

Tucked away in a small corner of our campus lies the Makerspace. On this particular Monday night, I was there to check out the Cosplay and Costume Club. This club became an RSO last fall, and has been growing since. I spoke with the president David, and the co-president Sora about their experiences so far. From the roots David says the club started as “a student group where we could kinda just share materials. For example, I didn’t have a sewing machine but I had a heat gun, and somebody else didn’t have a heat gun but they had a sewing machine, so we traded tools.” As a senior, David reflects on why it’s important to have a Cosplay Club on campus: “It’s okay to have these weird hobbies, because as you go through life there will be others who share those interests. And you may get lost along the way, but eventually you will find that group. And Cosplay Club is just a way to help members find that community more easily.”

Students use Cosplay Club to talk over ideas for costumes, and general interests of Anime and other creative fictional media.

When I walked into the room, one thing that instantly stood out to me was the diversity of this community. This was something that Sora touched on when speaking with me.

The only point we emphasize for our members is respect. We need to respect everyone's love for a specific anime, or game, and how they approach the art of cosplay. Students here come from different backgrounds, languages, abilities, and even majors, but they’re all here because they like the art of cosplay, and that’s all that matters in the end.”

After speaking with Sora and David, I walked around talking to members of the club seeing the creative work they were doing. I had a conversation with a freshman named Sai who joined the club in the fall. In her time so far, she has learned a lot, saying, “A month ago, I would not have known how to use any of the tools I’m using or make the things I’m making”.

The Makerspace gives Sai access to tools to help her create her cosplay costume.

Another student, Bright, who is also a freshman in the club, was making a cosplay weapon from an anime that he enjoyed. He told me how he was always interested in cosplay and always wanted to do it, but it wasn’t until he got to UMass that he had the resources to create the art he wanted to.

Bright is designing a cosplay weapon for the upcoming cosplay event, Anime Boston, in April 2020.

The Makerspace is the engine behind this club, providing tools and a working space for

students to come together, work, and discuss their creations along the way.

If you are interested in the Cosplay club, request to join the UMass Cosplay Club Members group on Facebook.

For more information about the Makerspace, check out their website here.

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